This Blog was originally posted in 2015 and we’ve since updated it to reflect the most recent Daylight Savings information for 2017.
This weekend marks the end of Daylight Savings Time and its time to turn our clocks back.
Timeline of Daylight Savings Time
The idea of Daylight Saving Time (singular not plural) was conceived by Benjamin Franklin in 1784, to make the best use of daylight hours. On March 19, 1918, the Standard Time Act establishes time zones and daylight savings. Daylight saving is repealed in 1919 but is recognized in certain areas of the United States. In 1966 the Uniform Time Act establishes the system of uniform Daylight Saving Time throughout the United States. The act is signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson. States can exempt themselves from participation by passing a state law. In the United States, Hawaii and most of Arizona do not follow DLS. The U.S. territories of Guam, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands and American Samoa also do not observe DLS.
Early on Sunday morning, November 5th most Americans will wake up and turn their clocks back by one hour to end daylight saving time. We will all think, “Fantastic, I will get another hour of sleep”; and yes, you will. You may have gained an hour of sleep, and your brain knows the time on the clock has changed but your body’s internal clock does not. During time changes there is a statistical increase in safety incidents.
The National Road Safety Foundation has studies that show an increase in accidents when the clocks turn back. Besides the lack of visibility, studies showed that commuting in the dark can make drivers more drowsy than usual. According to health studies changes in waking time and the earlier onset of darkness throws off our internal clocks. This increases driving risks due to the problems associated with lack of sleep.
Things to consider when switching to standard time:
Fatigue – Studies suggest that it takes people who work traditional hours several days to fully readjust their sleep schedule after the time change. While it may seem like a benefit to gain an extra hour of sleep in the fall as opposed to losing an hour in the spring, there is a physiological consequence to changing our clocks. Don’t be surprised if you feel a bit sluggish for the first week or so of November.
Accidents – Evidence suggests that time changes increase safety problems both at home and at work. Just being aware of the increased risk of accidents in the period immediately following the time change may help you stay alert.
When you set your clocks back use the occasion as a reminder to perform other safety tasks:
- Check and replace the batteries in your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.
- Change your furnace filter.
- Prepare a winter emergency kit for your vehicle.
- Check your car battery and tires to see that they are ready for winter.